The number of people claiming welfare benefits (bijstand) in the Netherlands rose 22,000 last year to 435,000, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday.
Welfare claims are slower to react to economic improvements because it is more difficult to find jobs for people who live on bijstand, the CBS said.
The number of claims by the under-27s was stable as job opportunities for younger people increased.
Six out of 10 people aged over 45 and who are on welfare benefits have been without work for more than three years.
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